When DESiN’s Co-Founder and CEO, Jon Dekar, was a teenager, his grandfather, a Navy veteran, was diagnosed with a degenerative neuromuscular disease. Over the next few years, he slowly lost the use of his arms. During this time, Jon witnessed his grandfather’s frustration in being fed by others.
As the disease progressed, Jon observed how much his grandfather disliked being fed by a caregiver. What was once an enjoyable experience was now physically and emotionally stressful. He was no longer able to select the food he wanted or to control the pace at which he ate.
When Jon was in high school, he volunteered in nursing homes and hospitals and observed that his grandfather was not alone – many other individuals were experiencing the same undesirable feeding conditions.
In the fall of 2006 during Jon’s first week in college, he observed a six-year-old girl who had to eat every meal by placing her face in a plate of food. At first, he decided to craft a mechanism with available materials to solely help this girl (prototype Alpha), but his attention quickly shifted towards developing a modern, state of the art machine for everyone.
After over ten years of persistence and overcoming many daunting challenges, Obi is now an award-winning product currently available in many countries around the world.